Text & Photos © K. Gauger
My second trip this spring started on 23.05. with a dof travel group. A detailed trip report will be available soon, so I wont write much here.
Again we started south and had still lots of migrating passerines in the first days, including two singing Blyth's Reed Warblers
! One of them I recorded with my camera. Hear it singing on:
Kizil Agach was a bit disappointing. There were only few waders along the coast but at least we found a single Terek Sandpiper
. Also no high numbers of gulls and terns anymore but we saw Caspian Terns
in the northern lagoon.
|Blue-cheeked Bea-eaters in the colony in Liman|
The Zuvand region was great and very surprising with at least 30 Crimson-winged Finches
in Mistan. We never had so many and they were the most common species there! But only one of us saw a single Irania
. Very strange how the birdlife differs every year in this region... Near Gosmalian we had several singing Bimaculated Larks
. They seem to be most constant of the specialities.
|Crimson-winged Finches above Mistan|
On our trip though the lowland we stopped at Ag Gel national park but were not allowed to go in. Anyway, the impressive colony of more than thousand Blue-cheeked Bea-eaters
is outside the park and we enjoyed it much! Also several flocks of Glossy Ibis
|part of the colony of Blue-cheeked Bea-eaters at the entrance of Ag Gel NP|
|Glossy Ibis along the road to Ag Gel|
At a pond short before Mingechevir we found some White-tailed Lapwings
together with Black-winged Stilts
, Collared Pratincoles
and Ruddy Shelducks
. On the Kura there was a flock of Armenian Gulls
just besides the terace of our hotel. The first time for me to get some good pics!
|Armenian Gulls in Mingechevir|
The next day we spend mainly around Turianchay. Twice we saw chicks of Imperial Eagles
on the nest and the second time there was even the female bird feeding a snake or a Sheltopusik to its youngs, great observation! We also saw Griffon
and Egyptian Vulture
and Black Stork
|Rufous Bush Robin in Turianchay valley|
After a night in Ismayilli we went further back to Baku and had several stopps along the road. Best was of course the big colony of Rosy Starlings
in Ceyrankechmez. There were about 1200 birds around the houses. It was quite a good year for them and we saw many more huge flocks mainly around Besh Barmag.
|Rosy Starlings in Ceyrankechmez|
|Lesser Kestrel in Ceyrankechmez|
In Altiagach we had again the Nightjars
and Scops Owls
in the night and the other morning we foung a singing Barred Warbler
. In the Atachay valley we had Eastern Black-eared Wheatear
, many Ortolans
and a nice Tawny Pipit
The next two days we spend around Khinalik. We saw several Caucasian Snowcocks
, but only one male Güldenstads Redstart
. There were also four flying Great Rosefinches
and a single female which only few of us saw. Around the hotel I got again some shots of Green Warbler
|Snowfinch above Khinalik|
|Rock Sparrow in Bozdankesh|
|Green Warbler at Nazli Bulag|
Down in the valley we stopped in the forest looking mainly for Semi-collared Flycatcher
. It took some time but finally we found a pair feeding at the nest and the male was also still singing, perfect! A crazy Treecreeper
was breeding in the washbowl-tree of a tea house!
|Treecreeper in Quba forest|
We changed to Qusar and stayed again down in the valley. The Barred Warbler
was still there, Wryneck
and Lesser Grey Shrike
were around the hotel and a Short-toed Eagle
was flying by. We started early the next morning to get to the Caucasian Black Grouse
lek and we could see at least five males. In the birch shrubs we saw several Mountain Chiffchaffs
and a Corn Crake
was calling from a wet meadow. I even got some pictures! There were many Rock Pipits
, Common Rosefinches
and Red-fronted Serins
around Laza but the hihglight was a pair of Great Rosefinches
right next to the Suvar resort. The best observation I ever had and for me the best birds of the trip!
|Rock Pipit in Laza|
|Corn Crake in Laza|
|Common Rosefinch in Laza|
|Great Rosefinches in Laza|
In the afternoon we birded around the hotel and could get some more nice pics. As we had seen all mountain species we decided to leave the next morning and go back to Baku one day earlier to do another excursion to Gobustan and Shirvan.
|Red-backed Shrike in Qusar|
|samamisicus Redstart in Qusar|
We went along the Russian border down to Samur and Yalama. In a dry, open oak forest we found Middle
and Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
and at the coast we had Slender-billed Gulls
and an ad White-tailed Eagle
. There were dozends of Rollers
, many Lesser Grey Shrikes
and several Montagues Harriers
on the way.
|Middle Spotted Woodpecker in Samur |
|Lesser Spotted Woodpecker in Samur|
The day trip to Shirvan was very nice and prodced some more new species. We had Marbled Teal, Marsh Sandpiper and two beautiful Stone Curlews sitting on the ground road. I heard a Greater Sandplover calling but unfortunately we could not find the bird.
|Menetries's Warbler in Shirvan|
This was the best two-weeks-trip trip I ever had. We saw basically everything, alltogether 217 species, and I got a lot of nice pictures. I'm really looking forward to the next tours!